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Ambassador's speech on India-Oman Business-to-Business Meeting on Health-care & Medical Tourism

Posted on: September 24, 2019 | Back | Print

Ambassador’s Speech at B2B HEALTH in Embassy on 23.9.2019

Y.E. Dr. Sultan Al Busaidi, Advisor to Ministry of Health,
Dr. Mohammed Al Sajwani, Chairman, Treatment Abroad Committee,
H.H. Dr. Khoula Julanda Al Said, Member, Treatment Abroad Committee, 

Distinguished Guests,

Good Evening

I am delighted to welcome you all to India-Oman Business-to-Business Meeting on Health-care & Medical Tourism. I thank the Indian companies led by FICCI for their participation at 9th Oman Health Expo. I also thank the dignitaries and friends from Oman for their presence. I thank, in particular, H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Busaidi for his presence and constant support.

2. As you all are aware, Oman and India have always enjoyed close and friendly relations. In recent years, under the wise leadership and guidance of HM Sultan Qaboos, our relations have evolved into a strategic partnership. The visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Oman in February 2018 was a major milestone in our relationship.

3. An important dimension of this relationship has been people-to-people relations, forged through various channels including bilateral trade, investments and tourism. Cooperation in the health sector has also progressed rapidly. During the visit of our Prime Minister, an MoU for Cooperation in the field of Health was signed. A comprehensive review of our economic cooperation, including in the health sector was undertaken during the Joint Commission Meeting in July 2018. Both sides are now moving forward to hold the inaugural meeting of the Joint Working Group on this important sector later this year.

4. India is already a preferred destination for medical tourism from Oman given that our Omani friends are comfortable with Indian languages and culture. Several other factors that make India the perfect destination for medical tourism are: Highly qualified & experienced doctors & specialists; World class facilities at affordable costs; almost non-existent waiting time for surgeries; availability of traditional medicine like Ayurveda, Naturopathy and Yoga; Easy availability of Indian visa both online as well as through BLS International LLC; and several tourism options to make the trip health-cum-leisure.

5. Indian Embassy has been constantly striving to ensure that Omanis seeking medical visa do not face any difficulty. The Embassy issues Medical Visas on priority basis and has simplified the procedures especially documentation while applying medical visa. The introduction of e-Medical Visa has made it possible to obtain visa online without the need of an intermediary. My colleague Kannan Nair will make a short presentation to familiarize you with recent changes towards simplification.

6. We are aware of the importance being attached by Government of Oman to the development and strengthening of health-care facilities in Oman, particularly in the private sector. Many Indian hospitals are already present in Oman and provide high-quality medicare services.  Some of them are expanding their operations. Burjeel has brought to Oman the first private centre of excellence dedicate to Oncology. Aster Al Raffah Hospitals and Clinics Oman has expanded and opened its 9th branch - a multi-speciality polyclinic in Ibri. Majan Eye Centre is opening up its first branch in Barka on 26 September 2019. There is immense potential for forging cooperation in establishment of primary health centre and up-gradation of hospitals.

7. India has also been manufacturing and supplying high quality health-care products, equipment and services to a large number of countries across the world. There is opportunity for Omani companies to form joint ventures with Indian companies. The Omani health-care system can benefit from the high quality generic medicine/drugs being produced in India in GMP certified plants that are exporting to all parts of the world, including USA and Europe. This could help bring down the cost of healthcare for the Omani government.

8. Further, in September 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched PM Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) also called Ayushman Bharat, world's largest government-funded health-care scheme. Government of India aims to provide health-care facilities to over 10 crore families i.e., around 500 million people. This scheme provides for coverage of about US$7000 per family per year. It can act as a model for other countries to adopt. In the morning, we saw a presentation on Oman’s plans to introduce mandatory health insurance for all residents and visitors to Oman. The implementation process will offer many opportunities for collaboration with Indian entities.

9. In short, the possibilities are immense. I am sure that your interaction will help you in your efforts to forge ties. I wish all the participants a productive evening.

Thank you.